The Summer Program
Hirschler’s summer program runs for eight weeks beginning in mid-May each year. Summer clerks typically work in our Richmond office but have opportunities to work with our Fredericksburg and Tysons teams as well. The primary goals of the summer program are to provide clerks with opportunities to understand and engage in our daily practice and to become acquainted with our lawyers, staff and the metropolitan Richmond area.
A 360 View
Summer clerks substantively contribute to ongoing projects for existing clients. Our summer clerks should expect to undertake projects across several practice areas in the firm. Projects are assigned to summer clerks based on their input as to practice areas of interest. We anticipate that summer clerks will have the opportunity to:
- Prepare for and attend trials, depositions, arbitrations, mediations, and negotiations;
- Participate in business transactions, real estate closings, zoning hearings, and client meetings; and
- Draft pleadings and a variety transactional documents.
In addition to exposure to Hirschler’s diverse legal practice, summer clerks are included in periodic section meetings and other firm events. Our objective is to provide summer clerks numerous opportunities to experience both our practice and our culture. Summer clerks should complete the program with a realistic appreciation for life as a full time associate at Hirschler.
Getting To Know Our Team
We host a variety of social activities throughout the program to give our summer clerks the opportunity to become acquainted with our attorneys and staff outside the office. These gatherings range from large events – such as baseball games, cooking classes and RVA experiences – to smaller events at local venues and in attorneys' homes. Many of these activities include spouses or significant others and children.
A Chance To Shine
Although a majority of our summer clerks work with us between their second and third years in law school, we routinely hire a smaller number of first-year law students. Because the firm makes a studied effort to assess its growth within various practice groups before the recruiting season begins, the size of our summer clerk program changes from year to year. The firm seeks to hire a number of summer clerks equal to the number of permanent associates needed the following year (the year in which second-year students graduate from law school). Our goal is to create a program in which our summer clerks will not compete against each other but, instead, will have confidence that quality performance will result in an offer of permanent employment.
What To Expect
Our summer program is designed to provide each summer clerk the ability to directly influence his or her experience. A summer clerk can expect to receive projects based on his or her feedback throughout the program as to areas of interest. For example, a summer clerk may have a contract drafting project at the same time that the summer clerk is also assisting with trial preparation. Our hope is that at the end of the program, each summer clerk will have a better idea of the area of law in which he or she would like to practice following graduation.
Each summer clerk will have a junior and senior mentor. The junior mentor will be an associate and the senior mentor will be a partner. Each mentor will expose the summer clerk to the mentor's particular practice, coordinate work assignments that are consistent with the summer clerk's interests, and provide a forum to answer questions. After completion of a project, mentors will communicate feedback from the assigning attorney to the summer clerk.
Examples of recent summer projects include:
- Draft a seller non-competition and non-solicitation agreement in connection with the acquisition of a business;
- Determine how a British unincorporated association would be categorized under Virginia law (i.e., as a general or limited partnership);
- Review operating agreements, prepare membership interest transfer agreements, and prepare consents of manager in connection with an equity buyout;
- Research whether the owner of a landlocked parcel has the right to use a state-owned, abandoned road and whether that right can be conveyed;
- Review a deed of trust to determine whether there are provisions regarding promises of cooperation or time constraints on the lender for written consent for use of the land;
- Compose a letter to seller, including reasons for withdrawal from a purchase agreement and remedies sought by client;
- Draft a Complaint on Breach of Contract and Breach of Guaranty;
- Research TILA Rescission standards and draft comprehensive memorandum regarding same; and
- Draft Motion to Dismiss for matter pending in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Hirschler on Campus
This August, we visited the University of Virginia, University of Richmond, William & Mary, and Washington & Lee. We will post the 2019 schedule as soon as it is confirmed. Check back here for updates.
Hirschler’s Recruiting Committee is charged with selecting summer clerks, running the summer program and, ultimately, making recommendations to the Board of Directors about permanent hiring decisions. The Recruiting Committee is currently composed of:
Lisa Hedrick (Hiring Officer), Nate Story (Recruiting Vice Chair), Myrna Rooks (Director of Legal Recruiting), Kristen Burgers, Frank Cragle, Brian Daly, Laura Lee Garrett, Josh Kelly, Dave Lionberger, Kristin Shields, and Rod Simmons.
The Recruiting Committee only recruits the highest caliber students who excel in their academic and personal lives. Hirschler looks for students with diverse backgrounds and experiences who can offer meaningful contributions to the firm’s collaborative approach to providing legal services to sophisticated clients. Successful summer clerks will demonstrate their ability to take initiative, think critically and propose creative solutions to client problems.
Where you spend your summer is an important decision, and we want you to be well informed. Here we answer some of the frequently asked questions we receive about our program.
Q: What levels do you recruit for your summer program?
A: We recruit both first- and second-year law students for our summer program. We also interview judicial clerks and associates seeking lateral moves for positions with our firm. The firm is a member of the National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) and follows its Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruiting.
Q: Where do you recruit?
A: In the fall of each year, we interview second-year students on the campuses of many law schools throughout Virginia. We also solicit and review resumes from students attending schools at which we are not conducting on-campus interviews. In evaluating resumes, we consider academic performance, extracurricular activities, leadership experience, recommendations, and prior experience.
Q: What are call-back interviews like?
A: For our call-back interviews, we invite candidates to participate in our "Open House." Candidates have an opportunity in the evening to meet informally with a number of our attorneys during a cocktail party at an attorney's home. In the morning, candidates interview with additional attorneys in our offices, after which, candidates are invited to lunch with some of our attorneys and then have free time to tour the Richmond area. We provide hotel accommodations and will reimburse reasonable travel expenses for students who travel from outside the Central Virginia area. Our Open House program is conducted for second-year students in the fall and first-year students during the winter. For those who find themselves unable to participate in our Open House program, the firm will seek to accommodate them through the traditional in-office call-back interview process.
Decisions for participation in the firm's summer program are made throughout the recruiting season. Each law student who interviews with us on-campus and who is invited to the firm can generally expect to receive a telephone call from us confirming that invitation within a day or two following his or her on-campus interview. Students who have been to our offices for a call-back interview typically hear from us within approximately two weeks following their interviews.
Q: How many of your summer clerks are offered permanent positions?
A: We are often asked about the percentage of our summer clerks who receive offers for permanent employment. There is no simple answer to that question because the answer depends on the projected permanent hiring needs of the firm as well as the quality of each summer clerk's work. For the past several summers, we have made offers of permanent positions to the majority of the second-year students and invitations to return to the majority of the first-year students.